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      SRO and what it means to your kids

      The Kirksville R-III School District has a new School Resource Officer and he stopped by the Kirksville Citizens TM Police Academy to talk about his duties.

      His name is Officer Rich Harden and he TMs been with the Kirksville Police Department for about six years.

      The school district has had a school resource officer since the late 90 TMs and the officer has many roles on campus.

      My duties are a law enforcement officer first, second would be a counselor, and then a guest speaker, said Harden.

      But, the most important task Harden has is ensuring the safety of the faculty and students on campus.

      Safety is the most important thing for the students and staff. I want them to have a safe environment to learn, said Harden.

      Harden is also responsible for the D.A.R.E program on campus which he says he enjoys the most.

      I teach that to the 5th graders, I think I have about 300 of them, Harden said. Its an exciting time, I really enjoy teaching them about drugs and alcohol and how to stay away from it and how to make wise choices in their lives, not only when they TMre kids but even later on in life.

      The students in the citizens TM academy class also learned about the duties of the Animal Control Officer.

      They even got a chance to look at the different equipment used by Officer Bob Allen when trying to catch an animal on the loose.

      Those include: Hand snares, catch poles, snake and bat grabbers, small and large animal traps and of course gloves.

      And believe it or not, Allen has dealt with every kind of animal you can think of.

      I TMve wrestled with snakes, I TMve dealt with iguanas, chickens, goats, geese, pigs and even donkey TMs, said Allen.

      Students also learned about animal ordinances which you can read in full by clicking here.